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Prisoners Win Writing Prizes

Four Chinese prisoners have won prizes in an international writing contest.

Three prisoners are from east China's Zhejiang Province and one from Beijing, the Chinese capital.

Zong Youju, a 30-year-old woman who is serving a ten-year prison term in east China's Zhejiang Province for drug trafficking, won first prize.

After Zou was jailed, she felt remorse and a desire to turn over a new leaf.

Zou only has a primary school education, but managed to write a fairy tale, in which she wrote of reform education that helped her resist the temptation of drugs and give her hope for a brighter future.

The contest was organized for an international conference sponsored by the prisons authorities of Canada and the United States, the UNESCO Institute of Education and an international correction and prisons association during April 30 and May 3 in Ottawa, Canada.

Another two award winners in Zhejiang are Luo Yinjiao and Zhou Wenyue. Luo has been sentenced to eight years in prison for taking bribes. He has behaved well in jail and prison authorities have twice shortened his jail term.

Luo, 40, won a prize for his poem titled "Books, Sunshine and Soul." Luo has continued to study in prison and soon he will receive a college diploma by attending an examination for self-taught students.

Zhou, 37, who serves 15 years for misappropriating funds, won a prize for an essay "Finding The Lost Sun" in which he repented his crimes.

The contest was held to give the prisoners a new start in life hoping they would return to society again as reformed citizens, sponsors said.

Ge Bingyao, director of Zhejiang Provincial Bureau of Prisons, said the prizes show that Zhejiang is acknowledged by the international community for its reform of prison inmates.


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